The Ravens dropped their second game in a row Sunday with a 43-23 loss to the Steelers at Heinz Field.
The loss was the most lopsided defeat of the season, as the Ravens allowed six touchdown passes to quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
"I'm disappointed in us," Head Coach John Harbaugh said after the game. "I thought we could have found a way to play better, especially toward the end, but we didn't."
Here's a film breakdown of some key plays and details you might have missed in the game (mobile users tap "View in browser" to view the film screen grabs). All of these plays were viewed using NFL Game Rewind, which is available for fans to purchase.
Overview Of Flacco's Interception
A critical error in Sunday's game came early in the second quarter when quarterback Joe Flacco was picked off by linebacker Jason Worilds to set up the Steelers' second touchdown. Worilds was wide open in the middle of the field to intercept the pass, which Flacco said was an attempted throwaway. Pressure from outside linebacker James Harrison forced a quick throw from Flacco, who tried to heave the ball about 25 yards to the sideline. Flacco tried to throw it well past the line of scrimmage to avoid intentional grounding, but he didn't have enough on the pass to reach the sidelines. The only other option for him other than taking a sack would have been a short throw to tight end Crockett Gillmore who was open over the middle. "I lost my mind on that play and got everybody messed up," Flacco said. "Things weren't right and I tried to throw the ball away to the sidelines and I just didn't get it there."
Ravens Have To 'Make People Pay' For Blitzing
Pressure on Flacco was consistent throughout Sunday's game, as the Ravens quarterback took a season-high four sacks and was hit 10 times. The pressure from Pittsburgh's defensive front had the Ravens out of rhythm for much of the night. After the game, Head Coach John Harbaugh said that the Ravens have to capitalize when teams blitz by counteracting the pressure. "We have to make people pay for it – run and pass," Harbaugh said. "That's something that's going to be important for us to do."
The photo above is an example of how the Ravens can make teams play on the blitz. Pittsburgh sent six defenders after Flacco on this third-and-three play, leaving wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. open for a first down. Flacco's pass was thrown to the outside of Smith, and the Ravens missed a chance to extend the drive into Pittsburgh territory on the game's opening series.
Timmy Jernigan Can Play
The Ravens pounced on defensive lineman Timmy Jernigan when he dropped to the second round of this year's draft. Plays like this are exactly why. The rookie defender blew up this play to running back LeGarrette Blount by pushing left guard Ramon Foster back about five yards. Jerngian actually pushed Foster into Blount in the backfield, and the Ravens swarmed to the running back for a seven-yard loss.
Five Missed Tackles On Brown's Touchdown
Giving up big plays in the secondary was a key reason for the lopsided score, and Harbaugh has stressed the need to clean up those miscues. This 54-yard touchdown by wide receiver Antonio Brown in the second quarter llustrated some of those mistakes, as five players missed a chance to bring down Brown before the end zone. "You want to play in that secondary?" Harbaugh said Monday. "Step up in practice and play well and step up in the game and make plays and be in the right spot. And that's what we're looking for guys to do."
What Is A Penalty For Interference?
The NFL has placed an emphasis on calling interference – both offensive and defensive – in the secondary this year. There doesn't seem to be too much consistency with the enforcement of the rules, as the videos above show. Both plays involve cornerback Lardarius Webb defending Brown. Brown got away with a clear shove in the first video, but the second video shows Webb getting penalized for pass interference.